MCA Qualifications used in the Yachting Industry.

The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) regulates the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and enables the RYA to set syllabi for a variety of certificates of competence from an Introduction to Yachting right the way through to Yachtmaster Ocean. The RYA also administers teaching and certification of courses for sailing instructors including Cruising Instructor and Yachtmaster Instructor.

In addition to RYA courses the MCA offers more advanced qualifications leading to Master (Yachts < 3,000 gt).  These courses and qualifications are only available to highly skilled, qualified and experienced seafarers.

Entry level is in large part MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Ocean, with holders of these two qualifications able to apply to take the Oral Examination and acquire the Master (Coded less than 200gt) certificate. 

 

Master (Code Vessels less than 200gt) Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 500gt)

Passing Master 200gt will allow you to become the captain on any vessel less than 200gt. This includes some large yachts, work boats and wind farm support vessels.  The Master (Code Vessels less than 200gt) Officer of the watch (Yachts less than 500gt) training covers two capacities: limited (*not more than 150 miles from safe haven) and unlimited (**unlimited area).

Before you can obtain the Master (Code Vessels less than 200gt) Officer of the watch (Yachts less than 500gt) Certificate of Competency you must complete a number of Master (200gt) and MCA Ancillary courses to qualify to sit the Master (Code Vessels less than 200gt) Officer of the watch (Yachts less than 500gt) Certificate of Competency oral examination.

These include;

  1. GMDSS General Operators Certificate (GOC)
  2. Human Element, Leadership and Management (Operational Level)

 

Entry Requirements for Master (Code Vessels less than 200gt) Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 500gt) Limited*

  • Candidates must be at least 18 years of age
  • Have completed 6 months seagoing service while holding an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or IYT Master of Yachts Limited certificate
  • Hold Either:
    • An RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate and a certificate of successful completion of a shorebased Yachtmaster Offshore course; or
    • An IYT Master of Yachts Limited
  • Hold a valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent
  • STCW Basic Safety Training

 

Entry Requirements for Master (Code Vessels less than 200gt) Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 500gt) Unlimited**

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have completed 6 months seagoing service while holding an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean or IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited certificate
  • Hold Either:
  • An RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certificate and a certificate of successful completion of a shorebased Yachtmaster Ocean course; or
  • An IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited
  • Hold a valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent
  • STCW Basic Safety Training

In other words, holders of the Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean certificates that also have sufficient time at sea and a GMDSS Operator’s Certificate and have completed the Human Element, Leadership & Management Course, may take the Oral Examination for the Master <200gt certificate.

If you are looking to play on bigger toys, you need more...

 

MCA Officer of the Watch (OOW) up to 3,000 gt

To work as an Officer on watch for vessels up to 3000gt (Gross tonnage), candidates will be required to hold an Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency.

Before you can obtain the MCA Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency you must complete a number of OOW (Yacht) and MCA Ancillary courses to qualify to sit the Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency oral examination.

 

Entry Requirements for OOW (Yachts less Than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency (CoC) Oral Examination are as follows;

  • The candidate must be at least 19 years of age
  • Hold either; An RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate and a certificate of successful completion of a shorebased Yachtmaster Offshore course or IYT Master of Yachts Limited
  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • Hold a valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent
  • Have completed a Yacht Training Record Book (Note: Not required if the candidate can provide evidence of 36 months actual sea service in vessels of at least 24 metres in load line length)
  • Since the age of 16 have obtained a minimum of 36 months’ onboard yacht service. This must include at least 365 days seagoing service on vessels of 15 metres or over in load line length, made up of:
    • A minimum of 250 days’ ACTUAL sea going service and
    • 115 days of any combination of the following:
      • Actual sea service
      • Stand-by service – A maximum of 14 consecutive days may be counted at one time, but on no occasion may a period of standby service exceed that of the previous voyage;
      • Yard service – up to a maximum of 90 days continuously or in separate periods;

 

Chief Mate (Yachts less than 3000gt)

The Chief Mate (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency is an endorsement of the Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency.

Before you can apply to the MCA the Chief Mate (Yachts less than 3000gt) CoC you must complete a number of MCA Ancillary courses.

These include; 

  • Hold an Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency Or have completed the training requirements for Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency
  • Hold either; An RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certificate and a certificate of successful completion of a shorebased Yachtmaster Ocean course or IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited
  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • Hold a valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent

 

Master (Yachts less than 500gt/3000gt)

To command vessels up to 500gt/3000gt commercially, you will be required to hold a Master (Yachts less than 500gt/3000gt) Certificate of Competency.

Before you can obtain the MCA Master (Yachts less than 500gt/3000gt) Certificate of Competency you must complete a number of Master (Yacht) and MCA Ancillary courses to qualify to sit the Master (Yachts less than 500gt/3000gt)  Certificate of Competency oral examination.

These additional courses include;

Required Certification Course for Master (Yachts less than 500gt/3000gt) modules:

Stability (Master Yachts)
Business and Law (Master Yachts)
Navigation, ARPA and Radar Simulator (Master Yachts)
Seamanship and Meteorology (Master Yachts)

Required Ancillary Courses for Master (Yachts less than 500gt/3000gt) modules:

Proficiency for Persons in Charge of Medical Care on Board Ship (STCW A-VI/4-2)
Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
Human Element, Leadership and Management (Management Level)
Celestial Navigation Exam (MCA Approved)

At Jolly Parrot Sailing we offer a comprehensive RYA training programme that can deliver candidates to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, the entry level for MCA qualifications. After Yachtmaster Ocean, MCA qualifications are delivered through specialist training facilities.